Lehrman: U.S. Ambassador to the Court of St. James

December 4, 2014 – Greenwich Time

On Dec. 8, 1941, U.S. Ambassador John “Gil” Winant dined with Prime Minister Winston Churchill at Chequers. Uncharacteristically, Churchill tuned the radio to the 9 p.m. BBC news. Together, they heard a vague report of a Japanese attack. Churchill’s valet quickly confirmed: “The
Japanese have attacked the Americans.” Ambassador Winant called President Franklin D. Roosevelt, then handed the phone to the prime minister. “It’s quite true,” FDR said. “They have attacked us at Pearl Harbor. We are all in the same boat now.” Winant had long believed America must join Britain
in the same boat. So did Churchill.

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